Adult Halloween parties are increasingly popular, as they give adults an excuse to celebrate an occasion that is often associated with children. With the right lighting effects, colour schemes and of course fancy dress, creating the desired spooky atmosphere can be great fun to plan. Cocktails and shooters are no different; the key to making great Halloween drinks, lies in the creative way of garnishing them, mixing them and naming them.
1. Bleeding Heart Martini
Chill the desired amount of martini glasses in the freezer. Make your standard Martini mix and divide equally among glasses. Garnish each with a skewered pickled baby beetroot, which “bleeds” from a wound caused by the cocktail spear.
2. Brain Hemorrhage
Sounds gross, looks gross, but tastes divine and is a great party trick when making them for your guests. Line up a row of shot glasses and fill 2/3 of each glass with Peach Schnapps. Open a bottle of Cape Velvet, Amarula or Baileys cream. Keeping your thumb positioned over the top of the bottle opening, carefully drop a small amount into the glass, until the ‘brain’ shape has formed. Lastly drop a small quantity of grenadine into each glass to represent the hemorrhage part of the drink. Remember if you pour the Cape Velvet and grenedine in too quickly, all the ingredients will mix and you will be left with a murky mess, if this happens, don’t worry you can rename the drink to ‘goblin’s brew’ and start over again.
3. The Black Widow
Pick a cocktail, any cocktail, Strawberry Daquery, Martini, Margerita, Bloody Mary, just make sure that it is red, add some red food colouring or grenadine if needed. Next you will need, liquorice strings, cut into 5cm strips. Pour your cocktail mix into some chilled Martini glasses and place 6 liquorice strings into each glass so that a portion of the liquorice hangs out over the lip of the glass.
4. Jack O’Lantern
Or more commonly known as the flaming Sambuca. Open a bottle of either red or black Sambuca, line up a row of shot glasses or liqueur glasses and fill each glass, then light them one by one. Because of the high alcohol content, the glasses will flame. Advise your guests to blow out the flame and to check the glass and liquid temperature before they consume the drink to avoid any scalding.
5. Bloody Scary Bloody Mary
Turn your standard Bloody Mary (which already sounds scary on its own) into a Bloody Scary Bloody Mary, by adding some floating eyeballs into each glass, these eyeballs can be made ahead of time, so there is no need to stress about anything at the party. You can make a large pitcher of Bloody Mary mix ahead of time too, remember to keep it chilled until you are ready to serve.
You will need 14 medium radishes, 7 pimiento-stuffed olives, halved, crosswise. Trim stem and root ends of radish. Use a paring knife to scrape red skin from radish, leaving just enough to give a veiny appearance. With a small melon baller, cut a hole in radish, about 1cm in diameter. Fit an olive half, cut-side facing out, into hole. Place the radishes into some ice trays. Fill tray with water and freeze.
6. Witches Bog
Yes, we have another gross looking and sounding shooter, but if you like banana and toffee pie then this is the drink for you-
Fill 2/3 of a shot glass with banana liqueur, carefully pour some Amarula Cream, Cape Velvet or Baileys Cream so that it floats on top. Add a few drops of chocolate liqueur (preferably nachtmusiek, for its thick consistency) into the centre of the glass — and watch it sink through the Amarula and into the banana — looking just like a ‘poo in a loo’…yuk!
This is definitely not a drink for the faint of heart, this shooter looks nasty and believe me, it tastes nasty too. But as shooters go, the flatliner is the perfect addition to any Halloween cocktail party, it just looks so impressive, pure alchemy in action here.
Fill half a shot glass with white sambuca, then layer some gold tequila on top of it, finally add a few drops of Tabasco sauce, you will notice that the differences in densities between the two liquids, results in a red line of Tabasco floating in the centre of the glass, hence the name Flatliner. Fascinating stuff!
Some additional embellishments for spooky authenticity-
- Place some Dry Ice into a ‘cauldron’ like punch bowl, giving the impression of a misty fog escaping from the bowl , be careful not to ingest, as dry ice consists of pure Carbon Dioxide
- Pumpkin wine coolers – place your wine bottle into a hollowed out pumpkin that has been filled with ice
- Pimento stuffed olives make for creepy eyeballs for a Martini